US Election Special: Why Gandalf should be President of the United States

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Given the ridiculously tumultuous state of US politics at the moment, there seems to be little hope and little optimism from anyone that isn’t a die-hard supporter of either candidate. But, hope is not lost. In a parallel universe somewhere, Gandalf has come to life off of the big screen and is running for President, promising to solve international disputes through diplomacy ahead of aggression; seeking to provide counsel to any who will accept it, and campaigning under the mantra #WeShallPass.

But why is it that ol’ white beard himself would prove to be a better President than Mrs Microsoft Outlook and the Orange harbinger of the apocalypse? Well here’s why…

He’s a diplomat

Image courtesy of New Line Cinema.

Image courtesy of New Line Cinema.

Throughout the trilogy, Gandalf is a man who seeks to solve issues through words, not actions. When he goes to Edoras in The Two Towers, he seeks to drive Saruman out of Theoden through words and only uses his staff and his powers when he is absolutely pushed to do so with no other option. And then there’s Denethor in Minas Tirith. It may seem like a bit of a hostile takeover from Gandalf but Denethor is not the true leader in the first place, and Gandalf chooses to deal with Denethor verbally and warn him of the impending attack before he is forced to intervene and organize the defence of Minas Tirith. This is the type of man who you want to lead your country; a leader who seeks peace over violence or aggression.

He’s a natural leader

Chalk it down to his wisdom (more on that later) or just his experience on Earth, but Gandalf is the ideal leader. He is initially the one who leads the Fellowship and does a pretty good job before he SACRIFICES HIMSELF to save them, he then (as previously mentioned) leads the forces of Minas Tirith against the armies of Mordor. If that isn’t a good leader then I don’t know what is. He exhibits bravery and honour in his role and is a truly inspirational figure.

Photo by Pierre Vinet.

Photo by Pierre Vinet.

He’s noble and compassionate

As already mentioned, Gandalf is a brave and honourable Wizard, but above all this, he is noble and compassionate. He always seeks to do the right thing and is a kind mentor figure to many characters in the trilogy. Gandalf is an altruistic individual who is often the moral compass of the films.

One of my all time favourite Lord of the Rings moments comes from an interaction between Gandalf and Pippin and is a real showcase of his compassion in particular:

Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way.

Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path… One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… And then you see it.

Pippin: What? Gandalf?… See what?

Gandalf: White shores… and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Pippin: Well, that isn’t so bad.

Gandalf: No… No it isn’t.

In a moment where all hope seems lost, Gandalf reaches out to comfort young Pippin who is in way over his head, involuntarily might I add, and assures him that all is not lost and that death is nothing to be afraid of. If that isn’t exemplary moral support in tough times then I don’t know what is.

His wisdom

Gandalf is one intelligent guy. Take note Mr Trump. His intellect covers history, geography, politics, warfare, battle tactics and emotion, and an ideal President should be an individual who can think through things and provide the most reasonable and intelligent answer possible. This is something that Gandalf excels at.

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The Edge's Film Editor 2017-2018, David has an unabashed love for all things Dave Grohl, Jack Black and Lord of the Rings. A compulsive liar who shouldn't be trusted, David once beat legendary actor David Hasselhoff in a hot dog eating contest and is best friends with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, they speak on the phone three times a week.

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